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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

BJP to ‘wait and watch’ as Shiv Sena scrambles to shore up numbers

The BJP and Sena were in a disagreement over sharing the chief minister’s post on a 50:50 basis since the Maharashtra election results were announced on October 24.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2019 23:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The BJP, which had emerged as the single-largest party in Maharashtra assembly polls with 105 seats, had declined to form the government on Sunday.
The BJP, which had emerged as the single-largest party in Maharashtra assembly polls with 105 seats, had declined to form the government on Sunday. (Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
         

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Monday it will take up a “wait and watch” approach as Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked the NCP to show its ability to form a government in Maharashtra.

The BJP, which had emerged as the single-largest party in Maharashtra assembly polls with 105 seats, had declined to form the government on Sunday following differences with its pre-poll ally Shiv Sena on power-sharing issues.

The BJP and Sena were in a disagreement over sharing the chief minister’s post on a 50:50 basis since the Maharashtra election results were announced on October 24.

As the Sena was adamant on the arrangement, Devendra Fadnavis denied there was any such deal, leading to a breakdown in their talks.

The BJP’s core committee went into a huddle, one of the many in the state, on Monday as the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress also met multiples times to thrash out the issues.

“We have decided to adopt a wait and watch policy on the current political situation,” senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said while speaking to reporters late on Monday after the meeting.

“The BJP core committee has been closely watching the political developments here in Maharashtra. The meeting of the core committee is over and we will take the right decision,” he said without elaborating.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party claimed the NCP and Congress had agreed “in-principle” to support its government after the BJP moved out of the race. But it failed to get letters of support from the political rivals before the deadline set by Governor Koshyari.

The Maharashtra governor then called the Sharad Pawar-led NCP to start the procedure to form the government in the politically-crucial western state. The NCP, the third party in line in terms of the number of seats in the 288-member House, has now been given time till 8:30pm on Tuesday to shore up support.

The BJP has 105 lawmakers and the support of 15 Independent legislators. The Shiv Sena, the BJP oldest and pre-poll ally, has 56 seats, NCP 54 and the Congress 44 seats.